Jennifer Ray is a Wake Forest, North Carolina businesswoman utilizing the growth of her town to fuel the success of her business. As one of the community’s leading female entrepreneurs, Ray has successfully launched two businesses in Wake Forest and is using them both as a resource to help other companies grow.
After moving to Wake Forest from Raleigh in 1999, Ray started Redwood Productions, Inc., a web design, digital marketing, and graphic design company, which now boasts a client base of over 800 local, national, and international companies. Through her second company, Taygra, LLC, Ray offers fully furnished executive office spaces for companies of all sizes.
Her passion for enabling both entrepreneurs and growing businesses began during her time working as a graphic designer for HQ Raleigh. Being surrounded by new start-ups and innovative businesses during this period helped her to understand how she could better position her skills to leverage her company and others for growth.
“I love doing what I do so much, and I love working with entrepreneurs,” Ray says. “There’s so many wonderful stories. Just taking designs, or brands that are sloppy, and creating these to look almost like multi-million dollar companies has been such a thrill. I love helping start-up businesses.”
Dominic Mastroianni, President of Custom Precision Solutions, says that Jennifer Ray and Redwood Productions transformed his company from good to great. “She’s completely enhanced my professional image,” he says. “I needed someone to get me over the hump of just another face in the crowd, and she created that golden opportunity. As a business owner, you’ve got to shoot for perfection in everything. She gets that.”
After years of operation, Redwood Productions finds its niche now in creating web and graphic design. Taygra, LLC runs 17 fully furnished office spaces, rentable meeting space, and virtual offices available to companies, entrepreneurs, and start-ups. While Ray often positions her businesses to accelerate growth for others, she has found living in the Town of Wake Forest to be an essential asset to the growth of Redwood Productions and Taygra, LLC.
“Business is prime in Wake Forest. There’s enough growth that it can support any new business starting,” she said. “It’s easy to get started here, it’s easy to promote your business from here, it’s easy to find a place to live. It was easier to start a business in this Town versus being just a number in Raleigh.”
It was the small town charm, big city resources, and the promise of growth that originally brought her and her family here. The nature of her business allowed the small town aspect of Wake Forest to propel her forward as she initially went door-to-door to businesses to market her services. The constantly evolving after hours activities available to her family made it the “perfect town” to settle into.
Part of the lasting draw of Wake Forest, for her and her family, is that she has opportunities to unplug and enjoy life. “I just found at some point in my life, early on, that I could make more money and work more hours, but that it wasn’t worth it,” she said. “I probably work less than most entrepreneurs, but stopping at 5:00 or 6:00 was the best decision ever. Family is more important.”
The projected, continued growth of Wake Forest is something that Jennifer Ray looks forward to for her own success, and for the potential opportunities of new businesses and entrepreneurs looking for a place to settle and succeed. “Wake Forest has so much more to offer than it did back in 1999,” Ray said. “Now, I would move here even quicker.”
For information on entrepreneurs, business, and opportunities in Wake Forest, North Carolina, visit www.discoverwakeforest.org.